Product Imprinting Tips

Finding the right item for your project can prove a huge barrier to overcome. However, we are sorry to say that the potential challenges don’t stop there. For your chosen item to now become a powerful promotional product, you will need to apply your logo, message, important info or call-to-action through some form of imprinting.

Imprinting has its own specific share of ‘traps’ that can make your dream project an unfortunate nightmare.

Consider the following as you prepare your artwork imprint:

Maximum Imprint Area

The max imprint area is unique to each item in the promo world. This is the defined size of space that the manufacturer can use to imprint in. It is specific in size and location to each product. You can go smaller inside of it – but NEVER bigger. Seems like a simple rule to follow. Yet, all kinds of problems can suddenly spring up in the gap between what people WANT to imprint versus what they CAN imprint.


When you enlarge or shrink artwork to fit into a max imprint area, it needs to happen proportionally in ALL directions.

Here are some typical problems that can arise:

  • Your logo is 1/2″ high and 6″ long; but you have to shrink it down to fit in a space that is only 4″ long. Your logo height is now going to be pretty small!
  • You enlarge your 1″ high by 3″ wide logo to fill a 4″ high by 4″ wide imprint area. But once you enlarge to 4” wide, you cannot make the artwork any bigger. There will still be lots of unused space remaining top and bottom.
  • You take your 5″ high x 3″ wide logo and shrink it down to fit into a 3” high x 2.5″ wide imprint area. Reducing the logo’s width down to 2.5″ will still NOT allow your logo to work because your height measurement will remain larger than the 3” high restriction. So, you will need to shrink the logo until the 5″ high dimension fits into the 3″ high imprint area. At that point, you must accept the resulting proportional width of your logo (which may or may not work for legibility or clarity).

Text Size

The smallest average text point size you can safely print is around 7 POINTS. Laser etch and/or pad printing might be able to go a little smaller but don’t assume so.

Does It Bleed?

Things that you want to print right out to the extreme edge of their construction are usually printed on larger elements and then cut down/die cut out to their final shape/size (IE: memo pads, sticky notes, decals, magnets, etc.). In these cases, the supplied artwork file must actually be BIGGER than the full imprint area by a 1/8″ distance on all sides where it is to go right to the edge. This is called a BLEED edge. Obviously, things that cannot be trimmed down/assembled cannot be printed with bleeds.

Is There A Gutter?

If your imprint on a specially cut product does NOT bleed, then you must be aware to only go to within 1/8″ of the trimmed edge – leaving that last distance free of design on all sides. This is called a safety GUTTER space. Placing any imprinting into the GUTTER area runs the risk of it accidentally being cut into during final trim/die cutting.

Dump Non-Essential Elements

Critically consider how much you can legibly fit into the Max Imprint Area. If it is too crowded, maybe it’s better to run only the graphic logo or just the text wording instead of trying to cram all of it in.

Reconfigure The Layout

Multi-line stacked text can work well in place of a single line of script that is too long. Or how about placing text beside logos instead of over/under the graphic element. Using 2 print locations on the product (if available) can also help maximize the impact of each element of the logo.

Switch The Product

Find something else with a better maximum imprint area to successfully showcase your idea the exact way you want to convey it.

Remember our assistance is as close as a phone call to BRYMARK at 1-877-521-1102 ext # 0 (Monday – Friday 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM Eastern Time). Or send us an I HAVE A QUESTION email below.

PLUS … We are always happy to PRE-FLIGHT (DOUBLE-CHECK) any artwork file ABSOLUTELY FREE OF CHARGE ahead of doing work with you.